Fifth about The Seventh

Le Bonheur

Le Bonheur: Agnès Varda’s look at a happily married man having an extra-marital affair is an easy-going, sensuous experience. The characters are all very forthcoming about who they are, there is no duplicity, no pretending; this is a solar film about the pursuit of happiness. The performances are naturalistic; Jean-Claude Drouot plays convincingly the life-loving beautiful young man, and it helps that he shares the screen with this real-life family (wife Claire and the adorable kids, Sandrine and Olivier); Marie-France Boyer is equally good as his paramour. It is the camerawork of Claude Beausoleil and Jean Rabier, with fluid and elegant long takes, and the ever-present bright colors that raise this film above its story. Also, Janine Verneau’s editing, with some sparingly used nouvelle vague touches, gives some scenes a distinct emotional accent. The music, a pair of Mozart pieces, feels more flamboyant and baroque than the images require, but that sense of opposition is quite effective.

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